Thursday, April 6, 2017

Blues Roll By Panthers

     The Florida Panthers played their second-to-last game at home and fell to the St. Louis Blues 6-3 on Thursday night at BB&T Center. Keith Yandle played in his 631st consecutive game which placed him eighth all-time in NHL history. The Blues improved to 13-2-2 in their last 17 games.
     St. Louis(44-29-7) was able to go up 1-0 at 13:16 of the first period. Former Panther Scottie Upshall stopped a pass by Ian McCoshen in the neutral zone. Ryan Reaves went on a breakaway through the right side and scored on a forehand shot past James Reimer.
     Florida(33-36-11) tied it up 1-1 at the 6:41 mark of the second period. Jaromir Jagr sent a lead pass into the neutral zone. Vincent Trocheck came into the Blues zone on a 2-on-1 breakaway and put in a wrist shot from the left circle by Jake Allen for his 23rd goal of the season. It was only his second goal in the last 18 games. McCoshen, who made his NHL debut with the Cats, got an assist on the play and was credited with his first NHL point.
     The Blues regained the lead less than one minute later at 7:37.  Jaden Schwartz passed the puck from the left wing to the middle. Vladimir Tarasenko then released a high wrist shot from the high slot for his 38th goal of the season.
     It took 55 seconds into the third period for the Panthers to make it 2-2. Michael Matheson skated around the Blues cage and stuffed in a shot while falling down.
     St. Louis got their third lead of the contest at the 5:36 mark. David Perron skated in with the puck from the right of the crease, faked the shot in the crease and snapped it a shot from close range.
     The Cats matched it again at 7:45. Colton Sceviour fed a pass from the right wing to Denis Malgin and he ripped a one-time slap shot from the top right circle.
     The Blues would get their next two goals while on the power play. They made it 4-3 at 10:37 when Patrik Berglund redirected the puck from the slot area following a slap shot by Jordan Schmaltz from the top of the zone.
     St. Louis scored again with the man advantage with 6:11 left in the third. Schwartz centered the puck from low left circle and Alex Pietrangelo tipped it in from the blue paint. Schwartz added an empty-net goal with 58.2 seconds remaining.

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